As the post-game crowd filtered back through campus Saturday night, the student-run organization Stamp Nation lured fans to the Diag with a “Welcome to Michigan” concert. Students, fans, parents and Ann Arbor residents on their way across campus stopped to enjoy a showcase of student musical acts.
Stamp Nation works to organize music events with local artists with the main goal of promoting student groups on campus. Business graduate student Omar Hashwi, one of the organization’s co-founders and its former co-president, said performers approach Stamp Nation when they want to play a show and the organization then facilitates connections between the group and available venues.
Saturday’s show on the Diag gave some newer bands publicity simply by virtue of its busy location. Over the course of the evening, hundreds of individuals stopped on their way through the Diag to watch the five bands perform: Caves, Matt Daniels and J. Dutch, Munch Music, San Cristobal and The Static Dial.
“The Diag is the iconic place at the University of Michigan, and students are always coming through it,” Hashwi said. “We barely invited anyone, really … we want this to be as organic as possible.”
The crowd, made up in part by Music, Theatre & Dance freshmen, was at the performance to support Music, Theatre & Dance senior Matt Daniels and his band. Matt Daniels and J. Dutch are one of the student acts that use Stamp Nation’s services, but the rap duo is also popular in its own right. They had two performances in March, one at the Blind Pig, an Ann Arbor nightclub, for the To Write Love On Her Arms benefit, and another as the opening act for Young Dro in Detroit. But performances on campus are different.
“We’re repping Michigan real hard right now,” Daniels said. “We have a different set list for most things, but we brought our Michigan stuff out for this event and wrote some new songs for this.”
Besides working to book shows for local performers around Ann Arbor, Stamp Nation attempts to connect artists on campus who play instruments but don’t yet belong to a band and the club is currently working to create a database that would be sent to students to facilitate connections with other artists on campus who are interested in collaborating.